Advantages and Disadvantages of FTTH (Fiber-To-The-Home)

What is FTTH?

FTTH is Fiber to the home, which is a transmission method of optical fiber communication. As the name implies, it directly connects the optical fiber to the user terminal.

Specifically, FTTH refers to the installation of optical network units (ONUs) at home users or enterprise users, and is the optical access network application type closest to users in the optical access series except for FTTD (fiber to the desktop).

FTTH is an access method in FTTx, so what is FTTx?

FTTH is a more specific version of the term fiber-to-the-x (FTTx), where x represents the point in the network where fiber optic cables are connected to nearby buildings to provide service. In each term, the location where the fiber stops and transmits the signal to the metal cable starts to differ. For examples:

FTTH: Fiber to the Home
FTTB: Fiber to the Building
FTTO: Fiber to the Office
FTTC: Fiber to the Curb

How does fiber-to-the-home work?

FTTH connects optical fibers directly to the home, and in most or all last-mile telecommunications, optical fibers use optical signals to transmit data for higher performance.

The basic structure of an FTTH access network is this: fiber optic cables start at the central office, pass through a fiber distribution hub (FDH), then through a network access point (NAP), and finally into the home box through a terminal that acts as a connection point.


The advantages of FTTH are as follows:

  • Greater bandwidth
    The significant technical feature of FTTH is to provide greater bandwidth, reliability, and efficient. In a network system, bandwidth represents the speed of loading information. The wider the bandwidth, the greater the amount of information that can be loaded in a fixed time. Experts from the FTTH Technical Committee pointed out that FTTH is the only technology that can meet users’ demands for high bandwidth. For example, a pair of single-core copper wires can only transmit six telephone calls, while a pair of single-core optical fibers can simultaneously transmit more than 2.5 million telephone calls.
  • Faster speed.
    FTTH improves network performance, especially higher speeds over long distances, which were not possible with the old methods of using coaxial cable, twisted pair conductors, and DSL. The long-distance is just in line with the large-scale use of the operator.
  • The cost is not expensive.
    Although FTTH can greatly increase bandwidth, the cost is not high. According to the statistics of the FTTH technical committee, 10 years ago, to solve the network problem of 100 million users, the cable company needed to spend 84 billion US dollars, and the network bandwidth was narrow and the reliability was low. But now, with FTTH, not only does it save a lot of wiring costs, but it also provides a better network.
  • Nurturing new products.
    The connection of FTTH broadband will breed new products as it opens up new doors for data transfer rates. Thousands of things, like cell phone video, tablets, HDTVs, telemedicine, remote pet monitoring, etc., which may seem very common today, were unthinkable 10 or even 5 years ago. Experts of the FTTH Technical Committee predict that the connection of FTTH broadband will surely stimulate the advent of new products and services, and can open up a new face for the business world.
  • Bind other communication services for users.
    For example, users can receive telephony, video, audio, TV, and any other digital data stream with just a simple FTTH broadband access. This arrangement is more cost-effective and simpler than receiving these services over different lines.
  • Expanded coverage and increased customer base.
    The FTTH access mode expands the transmission distance from the 2km coverage of the central office outlet supported by the original copper cable access mode to 20km coverage. For rural and remote areas, it is possible to experience Internet services.
  • Improve user experience.
    The FTTH access method increases the transmission rate from 4M, 8M, etc. supported by ADSL to 20M, 100M, or even higher bandwidth, which greatly reduces the poor user perception such as slow network speed and frequent disconnection caused by inferior cables, overlong lengths, or crosstalk.

The disadvantages of FTTH are as follows:

  • Speed limit and delay
    Based on the MAC speed limit mode, the delay will increase when the broadband is full. In terms of speed, FTTH provides a maximum of 4M uplink and 100M downlink, which is an unequal line, and FTTB is an up-down peering, with a maximum of 10M.
  • Construction is relatively difficult
    FTTH optical fiber access uses the optical cable to connect the signal to the building, and then the signal is converted and transmitted to the user’s home through the optical fiber. Since the optical fiber is generally not laid in the user’s home, it is necessary to re-lay the optical fiber for optical fiber networking. If the user is a new residential area, laying the line is not a big problem; but if the user wants to renovate the line of the family and then lay the optical fiber, the project is relatively large and the construction is relatively difficult.


The above is the introduction of FTTH and its advantages and disadvantages. If you have any needs, please contact us, and we will provide you with an all-in-one FTTH solution.

Echo Huang

Echo Huang is an expert wordsmith and marketing professional at Bonelinks with more than 8 years of experience in high technology businesses – fiber optics, IoT, and telecommunication. She is very glad to share industry knowledge and communicate with others.

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